Sweden gives Twitter access away to showcase personalities, lifestyles of citizens

Sonja was Sweden’s official Tweeter this week.

This week, I learned that the country of Sweden has been giving access to the nation’s official Twitter account to a new person each week. In other words, one lucky Swede gets to represent the entire country for a week at a time, and they can tweet about whatever they want.

Apparently, the Curators of Sweden program is designed to showcase the true personalities and lifestyles of the country’s population, which sounds great! But there are definitely some issues that go along with the plan, as well. This week, a woman named Sonja took her turn as the official Tweeter for Sweden, and it got a little controversial.

Showcasing the true personalities of a nation sounds pretty great, but a downside of that is the possibility of those personalities not being particularly impressive to the world. Sweden doesn’t censor the tweets of its representatives, and that can lead to some tweets like these:

There were plenty of other interesting tweets, as well.

For Sweden, despite being somewhat dramatic at times, the Curators program has grown the nation’s following on Twitter to over 62,000, and it has led to a ton of conversation.

My opinion is that people talking about Sweden is a good thing for tourism efforts in Sweden. In fact, if you look through enough of this week’s tweets, you’ll notice a lot of positive comments about the country, and Sonja did tweet good things about the nation, in addition to the¬†controversial questions about Jewish people.

At the very least, the project has raised a lot of attention to the country, and it has differentiated the nation from a lot of other European nations.

What this really makes me think about, though, is how open an organization should be with social media channels. In other words, should all employees have access to a Twitter account, or just one or two? Should people have to submit tweets before posting them, or should they have complete control?

What are the social media rules where you work? Do you think Sweden is crazy for allowing this program, or is it a good thing to show off the Swedes in true form?


About Jim Mignano

Jim Mignano is a young professional practicing and learning Public Relations in Rochester, NY. He is passionate about the possibilities that digital media provide and loves utilizing new platforms for a variety of functions. James' blog is about people and the technology they use. It's about communication and persuasion... the old and the new ways of doing things... the struggle between sticking to the tried, true recipes and experimenting with intuitive, innovative ideas. It's an extension and reflection of James himself: the convergence of ambition & ability.
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One Response to Sweden gives Twitter access away to showcase personalities, lifestyles of citizens

  1. Mark Trova says:

    I first saw this on The Colbert Report of all places, but I have to say at first I thought it wasn’t a good idea. It scares me to think that my Twitter account could represent the entire country, although I would be much, much more careful about what I tweeted. Either way, the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea. What better way to learn about the people of Sweden than from the people of Sweden themselves?

    The only downside of this is in regards to that comment made about Jewish people. If one person, who simply wants to tweet his or her own beliefs to a mass audience rather than use the account effectively gets control of the account, who knows what could happen. Think about the craziest person you know representing an entire country. It’s a scary thought.

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